Wine and your health

Cabernet vs. Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Merlot. 
Two wines that share many similarities, but are also extremely different.

For many wine drinkers, selecting the perfect bottle and making the distinction between similar types can be difficult, but if you understand the subtle differences, you will be able to make the right decision.

Where Each is From
Both originated in the Bordeaux region of France in the 15th century; however, the grapes that are used in these two wines thrive in very different conditions.
Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in the gravely soil as is found in the Médoc region along the Left Bank. Gravel-based soil that is well drained, creating conditions that this particular type of vine needs to flurish. It has the added benefit of absorbing the heat from the environment and delivering it to the vines, which helps the fruit ripen much more quickly.


Merlot grows great in the clay and limestone-based soils that are found along the Right Bank in the Gironde estuary region. This type of soil holds a much cooler temperature resulting in a delayed ripening.
Today both wine grapes are grown in a variety of locations. Merlot-based wines are often grown and produced in St. Émilion and Pomerol, and Cabernet-based wines can be found in Médoc and Pessac-Léognan. Both types of grapes are grown extensively in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, the Northeastern United States, South America and Southern Australia.



Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a small, thick grape. This is why there is so much tannin in Cabernet, as the tannin is found in the skin itself. Merlot grapes have a distinctive purplish skin, and reddish vines.

Differences how they are Produced 
Cabernet Sauvignon goes through an oak aging process during production. This process is perfect for producing a delicious wine. Instead of making the wine too soft, this aging process gets the wine to the perfect level of acidity and bitterness, as well as adding additional flavors.


Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is also often aged in oak barrels, or with oak chips added to stainless steel barrells. During this process Merlot grapes must be picked immediately after ripening or they will over-ripen and lose their acidity. Where Cabernet is often made as a stand-alone wine, Merlot grapes are often blended in with others to lessen the tannin, as they have a much fruitier, lighter flavor.


What Blends Are Each Used In?
Not surprisingly, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are often blended together. The fruitiness of the Merlot is used to combat the bitterness of the tannin that is often present in Cabernet wines.

In general Merlot is used to sweeten more bitter wines and Cabernet is used to add a drier flavor to wines that are too sweet.


Differences in Taste
Cabernet Sauvignon has a bolder taste, where Merlot is softer; however, there are many bold Merlot wines as well. It all depends on where the grapes are grown.

Climate plays a big part in how these two wines taste. For example, wine made from grapes grown in a cooler climate will have a drier, more earthy flavor with a higher presence of tannin, where a wine made from grapes grown in a warmer climate will have a much fruitier flavor with less tannin.
When Pairing, When Would You Choose One Over the Other?
With all their similarities, one big difference comes in pairing Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with food. The two wines, although made similarly in the same regions, have distinctly different flavors that cater to very different meal types.
When to Choose Cabernet Sauvignon:
Never do so with a delicate meal. Its rich flavor will overpower everything else on the table.
Instead, pair it with heavier meals such as steak, duck, wild pheasant, buffalo, and other dishes high in protein. Avoid pairing it with certain fish, as the oil doesn’t tame the tannin adequately. If you are looking for a seafood dish, less oily fish such as tuna, swordfish, and shark do pair well, but a lighter red may be a better choice.
When to Choose Merlot:
Because it has a lighter tannin and is sweeter, Merlot can be used in a variety of settings. Merlot pairs well with many different Italian dishes, especially ones featuring a tomato-based sauce. It also does well to highlight the savory flavor found in roasted chicken, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese.
While these two wines are produced in similar areas and utilize very similar techniques, they have significant differences that everyone should understand when trying to make the perfect selection.

Wine and Men’s Fitness

Top Five reasons men should drink wine

1. It’s good for your sex life
An Italian study showed that women who drank more than two glasses on a daily basis had a higher sex drive than women who did not drink wine, while another study showed that men who drank wine had higher levels of testosterone than men who did not drink wine, which is linked to having a high sex drive.
~ In sum, red wine makes people horny.
2. It might prevent you from becoming very obese
We can't be certain about this one, however a study of 19,220 women and men in the US found that those who drank red wine were less likely to be obese. Think about the last time you saw a fat Frenchman.


3. It can lower your risk of diabetes
Red wine and chocolate (great combination) contain plant compounds called flavonoids – compounds that do all sorts of good things for you. Researchers found that one of those good things was that they lowered insulin resistance. And that’s excellent, because high insulin resistance is linked to type 2 diabetes.


4. It prevents memory loss
Many Scientists have said the antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in the skin of red grapes, helps age-related memory decline. They found that rats given the antioxidant had better blood flow, memory and brain growth.
5. It could help prevent depression
Don't have to be a genius to know that wine makes us happier.
A study of 5,505 participants showed that "moderate alcohol intake" was strongly associated with a lower risk of depression.

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Red Wine: Rich in Health Benefits

Doctors from around the world have linked significant health benefits to drinking red wine.
Red Wine consumed in moderation, contains substances that benefit the heart, the nervous system, and it may even offer some cancer protection.
Red wine is good for a man's health in a number of ways, it contains antioxidants, that protect your cells against damage caused by free radicals, or unstable molecules.
The benefits from red wine are the same for men and women, but men can drink more because of their larger body mass — for a man one or two 4-ounce glasses of wine per day — women should consume only one glass per day. Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds found in plants. In red wine, they are found in the skin of the grape that produces the dark red color of the wine.
Resveratrol is a compound produced by plants to help them ward off fungal infections and many other diseases. It belongs to the class of antioxidants known as polyphenols.
Reduction in heart disease. Flavonoids in red wine can decrease the amount of "bad" cholesterol in your bloodstream and also can increase "good" cholesterol. Flavonoids and resveratrol also prevent platelets from sticking together, this process can prevent heart attacks or stroke.
Protection against cancer. Resveratrol has been shown to reduce tumor incidence and inhibit growth of cancer cells in the laboratory. Studies have begun to directly link red wine consumption to reduction of cancer risk in humans. For example, research has shown that a glass of red wine a day can cut a man's risk of prostate cancer in half, particularly when it comes to the most aggressive types of prostate cancer. Drinking larger amounts can have the exact opposite effect, so drink in moderation.
Protection against neurological disorders. Researchers have found that resveratrol appear to help block the formation of amyloid plaques thought to damage brain cells and contribute to Alzheimer's disease. Resveratrol can actually aid in the formation of new nerve cells, which could help prevent disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Other health benefits. Studies continue to find ways in which the antioxidant effects of red wine benefit the body. For example, studies have found that red wine cuts down the inflammation and tissue damage caused by periodontal, disease. So drinking red wine might actually help your dental health.
Cabernet Sauvignon contains the most antioxidants, followed by Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir. Merlots and Red Zinfandels have less antioxidants than other red wines.

Reds, Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants keep free radicals from destroying the body's cells and contributing to destructive processes inside the body. Flavonoids and resveratrol are the main types of antioxidants found in red wine:


The 4 Healthiest Wines in Existence

What makes red wine red? Those warm hues come from the Grape skins that remain in the tank as the wine ferments are responsible for the red color of wine. These skins provide resveratrol, an antioxidant that reduces heart inflammation. Keep in mind that some reds have more antioxidants than others.

Anthocyanins are responsible for the red color; darker red wines contain higher amounts. Choose a Cabernet Sauvignon, the darkest of all red wines and pair it with a Roast or Italian pasta with meat balls.
Tannic wines "have high levels of antioxidants overall, you can recognize tannins by the astringent sensation that makes your mouth dry and sticky. Select a petite sirah for rich antioxidant qualities and pair this wine with a Barbecued Chicken.
Grapes produce more antioxidants when exposed to UV light. Washington State wines are a good example of wines grown in vineyards with long hot summer days and extended growing seasons. In the summer the farther from the equator, the more daylight hours you have. Try a Washington State Syrah, from Columbia Valley, A dark, wine with abundant blueberries, blackberries, a bit of earthiness, and a touch of game and chocolate. Serve with a roasted pheasant or casual night of pizza.
Mountain wines grow in harsh conditions so they produce fewer grapes. They need more protection for each grape to ensure their survival, which translates to thicker skins. Hence more antioxidants. More antioxidants make the grapes very tannic and less appetizing for predators, increasing their chance of survival.
These wines tend to have a more mineral taste, as opposed to the big, bold wines from vineyards on flat terrains. These earthy, subtle wines are very successful when paired with pork.


Read more: Every day health


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